A different perspective on names

An analysis of current trends in naming nail polish colors: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/24/opinion/paint-your-nails-with-patriarchy.html?ref=opinion

A confession: When I was a girl I wanted to be the person hired to name paint chips.


November 25, 2016 12:07 PM

Oh my goodness, that's truly gross. I gave up wearing nail polish about 15 years ago so I'm very out of the loop with regard to their names. The last nail polish I bought was for my sister and it was a pale pink called Ballet Slipper, so clearly there are still some old school names out there. I mean, I can kind of forgive a company called Naughty Nailz, whose name directly advertises its mission to "shock", but other than that, it's just unnecessary and kind of pathetic. 

By EVie
November 26, 2016 4:30 PM

Wow. Wow. 

I rarely paint my nails these days, but I used to get manicures occasionally, and I definitely don't remember seeing quite that offensive a selection of color names. Some would be a little cheeky, but definitely not that bad. I wonder who is coming up with these, and who is signing off on them? I think if I were in charge of coming up with a naming scheme for nail polish, I would just use girls' names--there's an endless supply, they come with a variety of cute/feisty/elegant associations, and many of them have color associations built in as well. Rosamund would be a dark red, like a merlot; Aurora would be a pinkish-orange-gold; Leila would be black or a very dark purple or blue; Daphne would be green. I would call a steely gray color Athena, a bubble gum pink Kaylee, a light purple Felicity... I could do this all day :)

Miriam, I love paint names as well, and I'm happy to say that in my recent experience, they are still mostly inoffensive. I've painted almost my whole house over the past year, so I've spent a ton of time poring over Benjamin Moore paint chips, and I have to admit to being swayed toward some colors due to a really great name. My favorite that I used is New York State of Mind, a really beautiful dark blue on one wall of my walk-in closet. A lot of them use place names to evoke atmosphere--I also ended up Oxford White, Brittany Blue, Nob Hill Sage (which turned out too toothpastey, and I painted it over with Prescott Green), among others. 

November 28, 2016 12:48 AM

My favorite saucy paint thing was when I noticed that whoever set up the local hardware store displays decided to put the "Twilight Purple" and the "Shades of Grey" posters adjacent to each other, which I thought was hilarious (50 Shades of Grey started as Twilight fanfiction, and both are set locally).

I have always appreciated OPI's bad pun naming schtick, which is as old as my adult memory of purchasing nailpolish.